Brexit

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Re: Brexit

Post by Poodle » Thu Dec 13, 2018 12:29 pm

I have and do.

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Re: Brexit

Post by Poodle » Thu Dec 13, 2018 2:48 pm

Here's an interesting little factoid ...
Throughout it's membership of the EU, the UK has never traded more (with a positive trade balance) with the EU than it has with the rest of the world. I didn't know that, but I find it telling, to say the least.
EDIT: the UK's trading figures at the moment are 40% EU, 60% rest of the world.

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Re: Brexit

Post by Poodle » Fri Dec 14, 2018 2:15 am

OK - a badly burned Theresa May has been back to Brussels (again) to ask nicely which bits of the deal they can change. The answer (again) was none. So it's the Chequers deal (inspired by Theresa May) or no deal. The main problem with the Chequers deal is the 'backstop' arrangement, a very clumsy attempt to avoid a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland which would remain in force until the EU permit a change. It's Brexit with no actual Brexit. The lack of that hard border is the only reason the DUP has been supporting May but, unfortunately, it's impossible to execute unless the WHOLE of the UK agrees to operate under EU regulations (the main point of the DUP agreement is that Northern Ireland will not be treated any differently to any other part of the UK) - and guess who agreed to that bit of abject stupidity? So, the EU are adamant that no change is allowed and, if May agrees to her own Chequers deal, the DUP will withdraw support and the Conservatives will become a minority government ripe for removal.
It is still the feeling coming out of Parliament that Chequers will be voted down, leaving only a no-deal exit as in any way achievable (see the trade figures in the last post).
In other words, I once again have no idea what's coming next. Lots of people are calling for another referendum. No thanks - look at the mess which came out of the last one.

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Re: Brexit

Post by Poodle » Fri Dec 14, 2018 9:21 am

Overnight, after yet another frantic sprint around Brussels by Theresa May, the EU Commission has refused to give any assurances that the proposed Irish backstop will be anything other than permanent. Without that assurance, it would be as stupid as stupid can be to accept May's proposed deal. Couple that to the fact that Parliament has consistently said it won't be approved and the last couple of days have been deleted. OK - that document is done for and that leaves ... errrmmmm - no deal. World Trade Organisation terms here we come.
Before that, though, I think she'll have another try or two. She doesn't seem able to comprehend what's happened.

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Re: Brexit

Post by TJrandom » Fri Dec 14, 2018 8:38 pm

She'd probably rather be travelling than staying home with the constant abuse. ;)

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Re: Brexit

Post by OlegTheBatty » Fri Dec 14, 2018 8:48 pm

Poodle wrote:
Fri Dec 14, 2018 2:15 am

In other words, I once again have no idea what's coming next. Lots of people are calling for another referendum. No thanks - look at the mess which came out of the last one.
How could it be worse?

All you need to do to guarantee it isn't worse is make sure "Join The Soviet Union" is not one of the options.
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Re: Brexit

Post by Poodle » Fri Dec 14, 2018 11:19 pm

Aha!! Here's one of the main points of contention ...
When Theresa May agreed her Brexit plan with the EU, one paragraph said "The Union stands ready to examine whether any further assurance can be provided." Obviously, such a statement could not have been included without full agreement by all parties. Taking advantage of that, she returned for further discussion, only to find that in the 'official' version published by the EU, the statement was changed to "Work on preparedness at all levels for the consequences of the United Kingdom’s withdrawal to be intensified, taking into account all possible outcomes".
The change may, at first sight, appear innocuous. It isn't. It has been changed from a supportive statement to preparation for a battle. That is sneaky, left her looking isolated and a tad ridiculous, and should never have happened. That's a black mark for you, Mr. Juncker - only you could have approved that change.

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Re: Brexit

Post by Matthew Ellard » Sat Dec 15, 2018 12:53 am

OlegTheBatty" wrote: All you need to do to guarantee it isn't worse is make sure "Join The Soviet Union" is not one of the options.
Now that's a brilliant idea. All, HRH, the Queen has to do is get one of her relatives back in as Czar of Russia, another relative back in as Kaiser of Germany........behead Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage in Trafalgar Square.and the UK is safe again in numbers.

It worked really well last time.
:D

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Re: Brexit

Post by Upton_O_Goode » Sat Dec 15, 2018 12:17 pm

Matthew Ellard wrote:
Sat Dec 15, 2018 12:53 am
OlegTheBatty" wrote: All you need to do to guarantee it isn't worse is make sure "Join The Soviet Union" is not one of the options.
Now that's a brilliant idea. All, HRH, the Queen has to do is get one of her relatives back in as Czar of Russia, another relative back in as Kaiser of Germany........behead Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage in Trafalgar Square.and the UK is safe again in numbers.

It worked really well last time.
:D
:lol: :lol:
“It is certainly sad and regrettable that so many innocent people died…Stalin was absolutely adamant on making doubly sure: spare no one…I don’t deny that I supported that view. I was simply not able to study every individual case…It was hard to draw a precise line where to stop.”

Vyacheslav Mikhailovich Skryabin (“Molotov”)

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Re: Brexit

Post by Upton_O_Goode » Sat Dec 15, 2018 12:18 pm

Poodle wrote:
Fri Dec 14, 2018 11:19 pm
Aha!! Here's one of the main points of contention ...
When Theresa May agreed her Brexit plan with the EU, one paragraph said "The Union stands ready to examine whether any further assurance can be provided." Obviously, such a statement could not have been included without full agreement by all parties. Taking advantage of that, she returned for further discussion, only to find that in the 'official' version published by the EU, the statement was changed to "Work on preparedness at all levels for the consequences of the United Kingdom’s withdrawal to be intensified, taking into account all possible outcomes".
The change may, at first sight, appear innocuous. It isn't. It has been changed from a supportive statement to preparation for a battle. That is sneaky, left her looking isolated and a tad ridiculous, and should never have happened. That's a black mark for you, Mr. Juncker - only you could have approved that change.
Jesus H. Christ!! Is this the new era in diplomacy, when treaties are written in disappearing ink? Did the EU think it was dealing with the Cherokees?
“It is certainly sad and regrettable that so many innocent people died…Stalin was absolutely adamant on making doubly sure: spare no one…I don’t deny that I supported that view. I was simply not able to study every individual case…It was hard to draw a precise line where to stop.”

Vyacheslav Mikhailovich Skryabin (“Molotov”)

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Re: Brexit

Post by Poodle » Sat Dec 15, 2018 1:08 pm

I don't think he'll do it again. There's a video on the net now of her making a bee line for him at the last meeting, face set like thunder. She bent over him and said something, he jumped out of his seat and patted her back whilst denying everything. I think that the conversation went along the lines of "If you do anything like that to me again, you will find your agreement sticking out of your arse". He was visibly shaken. She gained a couple of Brownie points from me for that.
However, it changes nothing at home - she's still not waving but drowning.

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Re: Brexit

Post by Poodle » Sat Dec 15, 2018 1:28 pm

Ooooh! Ooooh! A development ...
Not confirmed yet but it appears that a majority of May's Cabinet (that's all the senior Ministers of Whatever) are demanding either a no-deal Brexit or another referendum. There's no way we have time to formulate the question, let alone organise a referendum. A no-deal is favourite at the moment then, especially as it costs the EU £39 billion. To be frank, I cannot see any other satisfactory way out without crapping on the heads of the Northern Irish. They'll simply have to accept the border, even if only temporarily.
Unless the EU back down on some major issues, then, get your international trade people together - the British may be coming.
But don't hold your breath.

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Re: Brexit

Post by Tom Palven » Sat Dec 15, 2018 2:15 pm

Upton_O_Goode wrote:
Sat Dec 15, 2018 12:18 pm
Poodle wrote:
Fri Dec 14, 2018 11:19 pm
Aha!! Here's one of the main points of contention ...
When Theresa May agreed her Brexit plan with the EU, one paragraph said "The Union stands ready to examine whether any further assurance can be provided." Obviously, such a statement could not have been included without full agreement by all parties. Taking advantage of that, she returned for further discussion, only to find that in the 'official' version published by the EU, the statement was changed to "Work on preparedness at all levels for the consequences of the United Kingdom’s withdrawal to be intensified, taking into account all possible outcomes".
The change may, at first sight, appear innocuous. It isn't. It has been changed from a supportive statement to preparation for a battle. That is sneaky, left her looking isolated and a tad ridiculous, and should never have happened. That's a black mark for you, Mr. Juncker - only you could have approved that change.
Jesus H. Christ!! Is this the new era in diplomacy, when treaties are written in disappearing ink? Did the EU think it was dealing with the Cherokees?

This seems similar to the Greek's resounding vote to default on their crushing IMF loans and the powers-that-be blocking the default.

Btw, another astute Bastiat quote is:
"Government is the great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else."

If one can be taught to believe absurdities, one can commit atrocities. --Voltaire

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Re: Brexit

Post by Poodle » Sat Dec 15, 2018 3:28 pm

Well, if you mean the EU forcing Greece to adopt a currency totally unsuited to its needs, Tom, then it's similar. But there is a difference, in that the UK is in a position to afford the break.

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Re: Brexit

Post by bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Sat Dec 15, 2018 4:35 pm

Thought I would revive this thread ..............as it is fascinating. DIRECT DEMOCRACY.....ha, ha."This isn't the Brexit we voted for...." Getting a deal the same as membership with all the obligations but none of the rights.

While knowing NOTHING at the beginning, I did predict they would vote again. Still looks like the BEST approach. The first vote was EMOTIONAL and UNINFORMED. With some of the effects more plainly in view, and the BS electionering out of the way: it seems to me only just and right to have a confirming vote. Why not?

In the main, what this evidences is mans inherent self centeredness. Every mother's sons loving one of us just want to do what we want to do and screw everyone else. If we could have nation states of our households alone, thats what we would do. Sadly.....justice/security/general best welfare comes by adding up as many people(s) as you can. Its hooman tenedency vs pragmatism. No "good" reason for Europe not to meld together.....its that pesky "cultural diversity" BS getting in the way. C'mon Common Market: show us it can work. Object lesson for South America??

////////////////////////////// Then there is France and the "Libertee" going on there. Time to resurrect Madame Guillotine and execute the Rich starting with Macron. C'mon Common Market: show us it can work. Object lesson for the rest of the World??==>Eat the Rich. They have been asking for it for decades now...............Obama Care, Health care for only some of the masses, still too good for the poor according to the Rich, now finally overturned by a trick. Trump Rejoices. Fug em. Fug em all.
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Re: Brexit

Post by Poodle » Sat Dec 15, 2018 5:02 pm

Good rant, bobbo. But not too accurate. There has never been a vote on the kind of Brexit we would like - only an in/out choice. We chose out. The argument now is about what kind of out we would like. We voted out, and that action has forced into the open a plan to turn Europe into a federal entity. I cannot begin to tell you how distasteful that idea is to a large number of Brits. At some point in the future, that may change - and at that point, someone else can do the arguing. Relative youth or age is irrelevant - what matters is that the majority of people who decided to vote in the referendum chose out. I have no time for those who claim they didn't understand what they were voting for on the grounds that they damn well should have made it their business to find out.

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Re: Brexit

Post by bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Sat Dec 15, 2018 5:41 pm

Thanks Poodle. Should I rest on "Good Rant" as sufficient unto itself?

ha, ha...........of course..............not.

So like a fascist: vote until you get the vote you want, then stop any more voting. Pure Heaven when you get the vote you want on the first vote? You didn't address the basis for my own recommendation: the public IS MORE INFORMED. Why are you against additional voting.....against INFORMED VOTING?

Still hate the French huh?

FEDERATION. Excellent word/concept. PROS AND CONS TO ALL WE DO. Everyone wants the Pros........complain when they have to take the Cons as well. So like hoomans: little children. Can't do the math.
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Re: Brexit

Post by Poodle » Sat Dec 15, 2018 6:26 pm

We do not and cannot know whether or not the people who voted in the original referendum were more or less informed than anyone now. To presume that is either an insult to those people or a blatant attempt to get a different result. I love the French - they're so excitable and garlicky.

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Re: Brexit

Post by bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Sat Dec 15, 2018 6:33 pm

What caused learning to stop on the date of that particular vote? You presume stasis...........where the truth is obvious otherwise.

For real: what is the main value you cherish by Brexit....and is it worth the turmoil.......being exposed, reliant on the colonies???
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Re: Brexit

Post by Poodle » Sat Dec 15, 2018 7:32 pm

Your first point is irrelevant, bobbo, otherwise you'd have been able to get rid of Trump simply by having another election.
What do I cherish about Brexit? Absolutely nothing. But I've had a glimpse of the future if we stay, and I don't like it. As for reliance, there are very few self-reliant nations on this Earth. I made the point earlier in this thread that 60% of our trade is at present with non-EU countries. The UK, in whatever form, has always been a trading nation, as is the USA. That's not reliance - it's normal commercial activity. Anyway - we have no colonies left. We have a few dependencies (most of them small island groups) and we have a lot of historic ties, but Britain stopped being a colonial power quite a while ago.
Yes - it's certainly worth the turmoil to prevent ourselves becoming an integral part of a federalised Europe.

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Re: Brexit

Post by bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Sat Dec 15, 2018 8:02 pm

As an isolated back door to a United Europe.......why shouldn't that Federation invade, take you over, and "trade" with you on very unfavorable terms? you wouldn't Nuke France over such an issue would you?

.......giving up 40% of your trade seems a bit onerous to me. The trade off is just one Master rather than Another.........and they are all the same. Ruled from London or from Brussels....whats the difference except vulnerability? I suspect you don't "personally" rely on the Federation for your own druthers in life.....and thats a good thing, all isolated and warm.

We have scheduled elections....different system from yours but "votes" at will by Congress when enough feel the need to get rid of Trump. We are NOT a democracy, but a Republic.

"Glimpse of the future....."==>anything specific?
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Re: Brexit

Post by Poodle » Sat Dec 15, 2018 10:27 pm

Leaving the EU doesn't mean not trading with them, bobbo. The US trades with them, Australia and New Zealand trade with them - the world trades with them There's no reason to believe that the UK won't trade with them.

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Re: Brexit

Post by bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Sat Dec 15, 2018 11:41 pm

trade...yes. But I thought on more expensive to UK than if within the EU?

Hey....I've got no axe to grind other than what is in my rant. aka: how groups of people tend to act.....and its universal. Point is....History shows that the more smaller groups you have, the more us vs them mentality you have. Stability comes when the contesting groups COMPROMISE and come together. I think........ the benefits of less potential for conflict outweigh the burdens of remote control.......always a contest of the pros and cons.

Like the USA: we are lucky to have water seperating us from our competitors...............
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Re: Brexit

Post by Poodle » Sun Dec 16, 2018 12:06 am

bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote:
Sat Dec 15, 2018 11:41 pm
... Like the USA: we are lucky to have water seperating us from our competitors...............
Well, we certainly have that - even to our north and south.

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Re: Brexit

Post by Poodle » Sun Dec 16, 2018 9:37 am

Ooooh - it's getting serious! Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond is set to distribute a fighting fund of £2 billion amongst the government departments directly involved. Whatever Theresa May thinks she's doing, it looks like the involved ministries are gearing up for the fray. NOTE: Philip Hammond is notoriously tight-fisted - things are serious if he gives away a single penny. Once again, the indication is that we are going for a no-deal exit and Mrs May's plan is as dead as a dodo.

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Re: Brexit

Post by bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Sun Dec 16, 2018 4:14 pm

This thought is just cycling through my head.....like a bad tune you can't stop. It will stop, but for now: One World, One Science, One Species. Many fractious competing self centered hypocritical nation states. Which one is not like the others?

...........and this does all relate to the benefits of cultural diversity. How come they don't scale?
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Re: Brexit

Post by Poodle » Mon Dec 17, 2018 7:31 am

It's hiatus time. Everyone has said their bit. We have, on the one side, Theresa May - who has declared she's resigning at some point - with 'her' deal which is dead in the water because of the Irish backstop - and on the other an intransigent EU with the same deal but who insist upon the Irish backstop. No one's blinking. Supporters of a no-deal Brexit are rubbing their hands with glee because they hold the default position. And the clock is ticking.
You have to picture Horatio standing in the middle of the bridge defending both ends at once. The longer the impasse goes on, the greater the likelihood of no deal.

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Re: Brexit

Post by Upton_O_Goode » Mon Dec 17, 2018 11:26 am

Poodle wrote:
Mon Dec 17, 2018 7:31 am
You have to picture Horatio standing in the middle of the bridge defending both ends at once.
Great image, Poodle!! This is like the Saturday-matinee movie serials I used to go to as a kid (cost 15 cents, and there was always a full-length movie---usually a Western, along with the serial and the newsreels). On one Saturday, you'd see the hero unconscious on a conveyor belt, being carried into a furnace or a buzz saw. You'd see the safety gates close behind him, and then the reel would end. You'd have to come back next week to see how it turned out. (Spoiler: The next week, he'd wake up and jump off the conveyor belt just BEFORE reaching those gates.) That's the origin of the word cliff-hanger, I believe.

So, this is positively nostalgic, for me. :pc:
“It is certainly sad and regrettable that so many innocent people died…Stalin was absolutely adamant on making doubly sure: spare no one…I don’t deny that I supported that view. I was simply not able to study every individual case…It was hard to draw a precise line where to stop.”

Vyacheslav Mikhailovich Skryabin (“Molotov”)

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Re: Brexit

Post by Tom Palven » Mon Dec 17, 2018 11:52 am

Upton_O_Goode wrote:
Mon Dec 17, 2018 11:26 am
Poodle wrote:
Mon Dec 17, 2018 7:31 am
You have to picture Horatio standing in the middle of the bridge defending both ends at once.
Great image, Poodle!! This is like the Saturday-matinee movie serials I used to go to as a kid (cost 15 cents, and there was always a full-length movie---usually a Western, along with the serial and the newsreels). On one Saturday, you'd see the hero unconscious on a conveyor belt, being carried into a furnace or a buzz saw. You'd see the safety gates close behind him, and then the reel would end. You'd have to come back next week to see how it turned out. (Spoiler: The next week, he'd wake up and jump off the conveyor belt just BEFORE reaching those gates.) That's the origin of the word cliff-hanger, I believe.

So, this is positively nostalgic, for me. :pc:
A cliffhanger is where the hero is left hanging from a cliff by his fingernails, The End.

The others are just faux cliffhangers. :mrgreen:
(Just ask Gord, our linguist.)
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Re: Brexit

Post by bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Mon Dec 17, 2018 3:36 pm

I thought a cliff hanger was when a woman was tied down to the rail road tracks and the train was coming?
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Re: Brexit

Post by Poodle » Mon Dec 17, 2018 4:53 pm

Angela Merkel has let it be known that she thinks that every EU member should give up a fat slice of its national sovereignty to the EU, thus absolutely guaranteeing that any future UK referendum which may be held will be solidly anti-EU. I strongly suspect that the same effect will be observed in every other EU country too.
What a time to come out with that! Politicians are so ... ermmmm ... thick.

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Re: Brexit

Post by Poodle » Mon Dec 17, 2018 5:10 pm

Upton_O_Goode wrote:
Mon Dec 17, 2018 11:26 am
... This is like the Saturday-matinee movie serials I used to go to as a kid (cost 15 cents, and there was always a full-length movie---usually a Western, along with the serial and the newsreels). On one Saturday, you'd see the hero unconscious on a conveyor belt, being carried into a furnace or a buzz saw. You'd see the safety gates close behind him, and then the reel would end. You'd have to come back next week to see how it turned out. (Spoiler: The next week, he'd wake up and jump off the conveyor belt just BEFORE reaching those gates.) ...
Oh boy - we had those too, and I loved them, We may have been a little behind you, though, as our fare was Flash Gordon (yes, the Buster Crabbe version), Zorro, and the Little Rascals. All formative stuff.

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Re: Brexit

Post by landrew » Mon Dec 17, 2018 5:36 pm

Have you noticed that countries have become gender-neutral? No one seems to refer to them as "she" anymore, just "it."
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Re: Brexit

Post by Upton_O_Goode » Mon Dec 17, 2018 6:04 pm

Tom Palven wrote:
Mon Dec 17, 2018 11:52 am
Upton_O_Goode wrote:
Mon Dec 17, 2018 11:26 am
Poodle wrote:
Mon Dec 17, 2018 7:31 am
You have to picture Horatio standing in the middle of the bridge defending both ends at once.
Great image, Poodle!! This is like the Saturday-matinee movie serials I used to go to as a kid (cost 15 cents, and there was always a full-length movie---usually a Western, along with the serial and the newsreels). On one Saturday, you'd see the hero unconscious on a conveyor belt, being carried into a furnace or a buzz saw. You'd see the safety gates close behind him, and then the reel would end. You'd have to come back next week to see how it turned out. (Spoiler: The next week, he'd wake up and jump off the conveyor belt just BEFORE reaching those gates.) That's the origin of the word cliff-hanger, I believe.

So, this is positively nostalgic, for me. :pc:
A cliffhanger is where the hero is left hanging from a cliff by his fingernails, The End.

The others are just faux cliffhangers. :mrgreen:
(Just ask Gord, our linguist.)
The use of one particular type to refer to a more general type is a well-known literary device, called synecdoche. Cliffhanger is sufficiently vivid to suggest the entire genre:
Wikipedia wrote: Cliffhangers were especially popular in 1920s and 1930s serials when movie theaters filled the cultural niche later primarily occupied by television. Cliffhangers are often used in television series, especially soap operas that end each episode on a cliffhanger. Prior to the early 1980s, season-ending cliffhangers were rare on U.S. television. The first such season-ender on U.S. TV was in the comedy send-up of soap operas Soap in 1978. Several Australian soap operas, which went off air over summer, such as Number 96, The Restless Years, and Prisoner, ended each year with major and much publicized catastrophe, such as a character being shot in the final seconds of the year's closing episode.
“It is certainly sad and regrettable that so many innocent people died…Stalin was absolutely adamant on making doubly sure: spare no one…I don’t deny that I supported that view. I was simply not able to study every individual case…It was hard to draw a precise line where to stop.”

Vyacheslav Mikhailovich Skryabin (“Molotov”)

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Poodle
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Re: Brexit

Post by Poodle » Mon Dec 17, 2018 6:45 pm

STOP PRESS ... ... ...
Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the Labour Party, has tabled a motion of no confidence against Mrs May. This is not the same thing as the one which we just had (which involved only Conservative MPs) but a Parliament-wide thing. I don't think he can do that - he can table a motion against the government as a whole, but not against an individual in that government.
Maybe I haven't heard the whole thing yet - but it may be that Corbyn's simply dumb.

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Re: Brexit

Post by OlegTheBatty » Mon Dec 17, 2018 8:51 pm

If they can table a motion of non confidence against an individual, they ought to so move against every one of them. I'd bet they'd all lose.
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Re: Brexit

Post by Poodle » Mon Dec 17, 2018 9:16 pm

Ah, I have the answer. Not only can Jeremy Corbyn (the leader of the Labour Party) do it, but so can any MP. There's then a cross-party vote on whether or not it can happen and, if that vote is a yes, the no-confidence vote is then taken but the result is meaningless and cannot be acted upon. So it's just a Parliamentary hangover from history by which people like Jeremy can say "I don't like what you're doing". In other words, a complete waste of time. But then what hasn't been for the last month or so?

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Re: Brexit

Post by Poodle » Mon Dec 17, 2018 10:24 pm

Apparently, May knew what the situation was. When Corbyn announced what he was going to do, she laughed at him, stood up, and walked out of the chamber.

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Re: Brexit

Post by OutOfBreath » Mon Dec 17, 2018 10:28 pm

Not uncommon practice in norway if the minister has {!#%@} up gravely or mis/uninformed the parliament on something. Usually resolved by the minister withdrawing "voluntarily" as they are dead fish politically speaking either right before or right after. How we got rid of our trumpist justice minister last year, after she went overboard on facebook after a vote to tighten citizenship rules on "foreign fighter" types. Since the majority wanted revoking citizenship should be done by trial and not as an administrative decision, she equated labour (the party that had over 60 members massacred by a terrorist) with basically IS. She went since she (like trump) absolutely refuse to back down on anything until it was way too late and the apology dragged out of her at the 4th attempt in session. This is more exciting in morway where we have some 9 parties represented and usually at least 3 in a governing coalition.

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Re: Brexit

Post by Poodle » Mon Dec 17, 2018 10:46 pm

Good grief! That shook me a bit, so I checked our own Parliamentary make-up. We also have nine parties. Seven of them, however, are tiny. It would take most of those plus the Labour Party to outnumber the Conservatives - and there is the importance of the DUP, who have a support agreement with the government and provide an overall majority. It's ironic, then, that the sticking point is the Irish backstop agreement favoured by the EU but not by the DUP.